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by boidsnake on February 21, 2013
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The Incubator 2010 - 2011 Season
2009 - 2010 Season
The first, and to date, only breeding of Burmballs (Burmese python x Royal python) was done in 2007 in Germany by Frank Kramer. At the time, he was housing a breeding pair of albino burmese pythons with a male normal royal python. The female burmese laid her eggs as normal, and it was thought nothing out of the ordinary would happen, until on May 4th 2007 her eggs began to hatch. Due to being a breeding of homozygous albino parents, Frank would have had the shock of his life seeing what looked to all the world like a normal nose coming out of it's egg. Little did he know that this little normal looking burmese hatchling would shake the world of captive bred reptiles for years to come.
His female burmese python had laid a split clutch, some of her offspring were fathered by the albino burmese, and as expected are albino burmese pythons themselves, others however have an altogether different father, the Royal python who was sharing the vivarium with the burmese pair had also mated with her, and the result was the Burmball.
To date, there are only 10 Burmballs in the world, 3 owned by the original breeder, 4 in the USA, 2 in Austria, and 1 lone female here in the UK. That female was purchased from the Hamm reptile expo by two of the biggest names in the UK reptile world, Scott Wilkinson (Captive Bred Reptiles) and John Berry (John Berry Reptiles). They co-owned her for well over 2 years, and in late 2009 chose to sell her.
It was at this point that she came to live here at Pi Reptiles.
Since her arrival we have had the pleasure of trying to teach the world about her true origins. At the moment there seems to be a lot of rumour and not a lot of fact, and as such, we have tried to answer the typical, and not so typical questions asked about her.
- How big will she grow?
- This is always the classic question, and the simple answer is, no one knows for sure. Being from the first breeding no one will have an older animal to compare her to, and being a hybrid, she could get to a size anywhere between that of her parents, or even bigger. She is currently about 7-8 feet long, and weighs about 6300g. She's now over 4 years old, and as such, I feel she is at about the biggest she'll get.
- What is her temperament like?
- She can be a little erratic. We feel that she is as shy as a Royal python, prefering to shy away from danger rather than strike at it, however, she does have an agressive side, and I feel that she doesn't know her own strength. Burmese pythons are generally quite placid, and I think that this is because they "know" how big they are, the Burmball doesn't know her size, and as such can be quite imposing when she is hissing.
- How rare are Burmballs?
- In a word. Very. There are only a handfull of Burmballs in the world at the moment, and the odds of someone selling one is very slim, we were lucky in that we know both Scott and John quite well and asked them both if we could purchase the Burmball before she even became publicly for sale.
- Is she het albino?
- This is something that will have to be proven out. Her mother was a visual albino, and so logically she will be het albino on her burmese genetics. As to how this will work when trying to include royal python genetics is totally unknown, but I would imagine she would produce visual albino offspring if she was paired to a burmese python carrying the albino gene.
- Is she fertile?
- Again, only time will tell with this one, she is currently un-proven.
**UPDATE** We regularly used an ultrasound machine to monitor her from October 2010 to June 2011 (the typical ball python breeding season), we often found what we considered to be folical structures. We also bred her to a male super pastel ball python (one of our best, reliable breeders) in the hopes of producing viable eggs and offspring. Sadly this wasn't the case and it appeared that she reabsorbed her folicles. However as of October 2011 we have begun ultrasounding again and found similar structures. As such breeding trials will be continued this year. Keep checking back for more information as it happens.
We intend on putting as much information as possible onto the website as and when it becomes available to us, so please, watch this space if you wish to see how the future of this amazing animal develops.
You can also follow the Burmballs antics on Facebook here; Burmball on Facebook!
And check out her youtube videos here; Burmball on Youtube
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